Variation in school data collection based on Ofsted ratings


Teachers at schools at the lower end of Ofsted’s rating spectrum are reporting more often on pupil performance, new research shows.

According to a survey from Teacher Tapp, done on behalf of Education Datalab, teachers in ‘inadequate’ schools and those that ‘require improvement’ are far more likely to be asked to provide performance data for their pupils.

The report notes that while nearly all teachers are expected to provide education leaders with information on progress “at least every term”, the frequency of doing so varies depending on the school’s Ofsted rating.

Some 63% of primary school teachers in the two Ofsted categories provided six (every half-term) or more data reports in a year, compared to 51% in schools with higher inspection ratings.

At secondary level, 55% of teachers in lower-rated schools said they had to provide six reports or more, compared to 53% in schools rated ‘good’ and 46% in those rated ‘outstanding’.

Various reasons for data collection

Teacher Tapp’s chief analyst Dr Becky Allen has warned against reading too much into the figures, adding that there could be “various reasons” why schools collect data.

“It isn’t necessarily the case that data is being collected because Ofsted said they expected to see it –it might be that the management of these schools feel they need more data to measure the level of improvement taking place,” she explained.

“But it may also be because an outside body – inspectors, regional schools commissioners, a local authority or multi-academy trust head office – advised that more data should be collected or are perceived to favour frequent data collection.”

The data also showed variation based on the proportion of pupils that were eligible for free school meals – those with a higher proportion were more likely to request more data.

One in five headteachers also suggested that their schools should collect data on a less frequent basis.

That compares to 54% of classroom teachers, 52% of middle leaders and 41% of senior staff who share the same opinion.

Meanwhile, the Department for Education’s own advisory group suggests that data collection should happen two or three times every year.

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